One of the most renowned dramatic soprano singers in the world during the 1980s and '90s, Jessye Norman debuted in the Berlin version of Wagner's Tannhaüser in 1969 and appeared prolifically during the '70s, moving gradually toward recording and video releases during the '80s.
Born September 15, 1945, in Augusta, GA, Norman studied voice at Howard University on a scholarship and graduated in 1967. Further studies at the University of Michigan followed, after which she made her operatic debut as Elisabeth in Wagner's Tannhaüser, in a 1969 Berlin production. She assumed main roles at La Scala and Covent Garden during the '70s, and toured music festivals as well, giving recitals both solo and with the major orchestras of the world. Norman has recorded a variety of material for Philips, including albums devoted to Christmas songs, gospel music, and operatic repertoire. Several of her performances are also available on video. ~ John Bush